From Alan Caruba's column on RenewAmerica:
The U.S. government has been messing around with the fuel economy program — believe it or not — for forty years. The result was the rise in sales of Japanese auto companies and European imports while Detroit saw General Motors and Chrysler come so close to collapse they had to be bailed out with billions of taxpayer dollars.
The culprit has been the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program and Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute calls it "a case study of unintended consequences. If the fuel-saving technologies requisite to meet the new standards are such a great bargain, why do we need a law forcing automakers to adopt them?" Good question!